May 2015 - On 19 May, the sixth Petersberg Climate Dialogue closed after three days of informal discussions on how to accelerate progress towards an ambitious agreement at COP21 in Paris and how to enhance climate action in their respective countries. Chaired by Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius – President of the next UN climate summit in Paris (COP 21) – about 35 Ministers and their representatives, the Co-chairs of the ADP, as well as the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, and high-level representatives of the UN Secretary General had met in Berlin at the invitation of the governments of France and Germany.
At the close of the conference Minister Fabius said: "A success in Paris depends on all of us. I am encouraged by the collective willingness that I sensed here in Berlin to get results. We are not there yet. From now on every meeting must have a clear outcome and send a signal that we are moving forward. I will convene a ministerial meeting mid-July in Paris to take stock of the results of the next negotiation round in Bonn next June."
Earlier, Chancellor Angela Merkel had reminded delegates of the EU target of cutting CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030, saying it leaves the door open to "potentially go beyond EU targets, for example, by using international emissions credits". The outcome of a Paris Agreement could thus revive the economic incentives of the carbon market. Markets might become part of the ambition mechanisms. Clear definitions of international co-operation via markets and finance in the INDCs will be helpful in expanding the scope of global markets.
However, the question remains as to how ambition might be fostered via those markets. Will there be tougher targets? Even explicit ones as the EU envisages? Will the use of market mechanisms effect increased ambition? One question that can be answered is that pure offsetting concepts in carbon market mechanisms or linking systems will fail and even run the risk of undermining the integrity of domestic emission reduction targets.
Talks and negotiations at the CarbonExpo in Barcelona and at SB42 may give rise to a clear understanding on the use of market provisions in the Paris Agreement. They may also produce an urgently needed work programme for mechanisms to effect a COP decision in Paris.